This resourceful couple, Dion and Justine van Kekem, designed and built their new Scandinavian styled home themselves
Meet + Greet
Dion van Kekem, 34 (project manager for Niveau Pools & Construction), Justine van Kekem, 33 (interior designer), Annabelle, 12, Brooklyn, 10, and Scarlett, 8, plus Goldie the dog, 8 chickens, 5 cows and 11 sheep.
Justine: I would have loved to put skylights in both bathrooms to bring in natural light. I also would have tried to incorporate a better overall heating system or hide the two heat pumps as I don’t like the look of the inside and outside units; nevertheless, they are very practical.
Any challenges with the build?
We had a big challenge with our polished concrete floor because of the particular matte finish we were going for. It wasn’t an easy task for the polishers and, being matte, it is still a little absorbent and vulnerable to stains. Throughout the build we had very specific plans and ideas and these often take extra work, time and planning.
What gave you the best bang for buck?
Our biggest savings came from not needing to hire consultants and managers as we managed many aspects of the build ourselves – being in the construction industry we were able to make significant savings. We also think the natural polished concrete floor has probably saved us quite a lot as we don’t need floor coverings for those large areas.
Best memories in your house?
We have been lucky enough to host significant events in our friends’ and family’s lives which we wouldn’t have been able to do without well-thought-out, practical, large spaces.
Tucked behind timber veneer wall in the kitchen is a scullery and storage space. On the far side a door leads to…
2. The mudroom
A space where the kids can dump their bags and boots, and dirty clothing can be transferred straight to the washing machine. A door connects it to the garage.
3. Home office
Accessed through a concealed door at the far end of the wall, the office also has its own external entrance so clients can come and go.
See more of the trendy Christchurch new-build below